This has been a banner year for whooping cranes. Five young whooping cranes have been added to the nonmigratory flock in Louisiana; in May, a record 98 whooping crane nests were found at Wood Buffalo National Park, smashing the previous record of 82; and the eastern population added at six chicks (as of August 1, although some may have died). A census of the wintering western flock at Aransas numbered 505 birds, including 49 juveniles—the highest number since censusing began.
The eastern flock is at roughly 101 whooping cranes; 54 are in the Louisiana flock; 14 are in the Florida non-migratory population, and 163 are in captivity. That means there are more than 800 whooping cranes in the world—in multiple locations—which is vastly superior to the 1941 population, when there were 21 wild whoopers, plus two in captivity.
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